BEIJING, March 3 (Xinhua) -- Beijing should erect a monument in honor of Olympic volunteers, said a deputy to China's top legislative body, the National People's Congress, on Monday.
"Besides the sports facilities, the Beijing Olympic Games should also leave some intangible heritage for the nation," said Zhou Hongyu, a lawmaker from the central province of Hubei.
The spirits of the volunteers should be preserved as part of Olympic heritage, he said prior to the annual parliamentary session set to open here on Wednesday.
"Volunteers show love and care. They are always ready to help others," he said. "This is what China needs in building a harmonious society."
Erection of a monument in honor of the volunteers would encourage more Chinese people to dedicate themselves in volunteer services, said Zhou.
Only about three percent of China's city population are involved in volunteer services, compared with the world average level of 10 percent and 30 percent to 40 percent reported in developed countries, he said.
China has 25.11 million registered volunteers. Incomplete statistics indicate they had provided 6.1 billion hours of services by the end of last year.
By Feb. 14, more than 930,000 people had applied to be volunteers for the Beijing Olympic Games and more than one million had applied to be "City Volunteers", who would be working at designated spots across the city to ensure the smooth progress of the Games and offer services to the visitors to Beijing, according to the Beijing Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games.
It said Beijing would need about 70,000 volunteers for the Olympics in August, 30,000 for the Paralympics in September, and 400,000 "City Volunteers".